Find Your Path to Public Service

Criminology and criminal justice represent unique but critically related approaches to understanding and addressing crime, including its victims and perpetrators. While criminologists endeavor to study the driving causes and potential consequences of criminal behavior, those who work in criminal justice leverage the resulting insight to detect and fight crime in action.

The online Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice program at Kent State University helps prepare you for the diverse career paths associated with criminology, or the theoretical exploration of crime, as well as the practical application and execution of criminal justice policies, policing and corrections practices, victim advocacy initiatives, and contemporary global security measures.

Your opportunity to serve and safeguard others starts here. Explore degree concentrations in Global Security, Policing and Victimology, and kickstart your career with Kent State.

CCJ Careers by the Numbers


Average salary for MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice graduates1


New law enforcement jobs expected by 20262

Earnings Outcomes in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Because there are numerous professions that fall within the diverse fields of criminology and criminal justice, there is also a broad range in associated earnings potential. Below, view the current median annual salaries for common criminal justice and criminologist jobs, and remember that your Kent State MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice could help you earn up to 20 percent more than professional peers with a bachelor's degree only.3

Social workers4
Private detectives and investigators5
Police and detectives6
Detectives and criminal investigators7
Information security analysts8

Criminal justice or criminology—which path is yours?

As the discipline that deals in the practical application of policy and research, criminal justice is associated most closely with law enforcement, court proceedings and criminal corrections. Professionals in this field may work as criminal investigators or federal agents, but they may also work in research and policy development, aiming to improve existing policing or corrections practices.

On the other hand, criminologist jobs are focused almost entirely on investigative research and policy development, with leaders in the field being highly sought after in both the private sector and federal government agencies. A criminologist’s daily responsibilities can be surprisingly varied and may include:

  • Visiting crime scenes to collect evidence
  • Attending autopsies
  • Examining evidence
  • Exploring psychological causes of crime
  • Organizing evidence and providing statistical analyses

Learn more about our concentrations.

Global Security Policing Victimology

Common Career Paths in Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Criminologist
  • Police Officer
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Private Detective
  • Paralegal
  • Criminal Profiler
  • Jury Consultant
  • U.S. Border Patrol agent
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent
  • Drug Enforcement Administration agent
  • U.S. Marshal

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Global Security Career Paths

Online MA graduates who have concentrated in Global Security have gone on to pursue roles that include:

  • U.S. Border Patrol Agent
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent
  • Drug Enforcement Administration Agent
  • U.S. Marshal

Global Security Overview

Policing Career Paths

Graduates of the online MA program who concentrated in Policing have been successful in the following careers:

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Deputy Sheriff
  • State Trooper
  • Correctional Officer
  • Highway Patrol

Policing Overview

Victimology Career Paths

Our MA graduates who have concentrated in Victimology have gone on to pursue roles that include:

  • Criminal Profiling
  • Law Enforcement
  • Crime Analysis
  • Victim Advocacy
  • Criminal Investigation

Victimology Overview

Criminology and Criminal Justice Careers and Salaries

Check out our latest article about career paths and opportunities within criminology and criminal justice.

Read Article

Start Making an Impact in Criminology and Criminal Justice

To submit a successful application, follow the steps in our application checklist.

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Make your success your top priority. Apply today.

An Immersive Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Featured Articles

June 03, 2022
Even before there were celebrity trials on TV and scattered across the internet, word of mouth, radio and newspapers drove public fascination with certain cases turning plaintiffs and defendants into celebrities themselves.
March 30, 2022
The question, “Do prisons have air conditioning?” isn’t something that the public would typically ask, but it’s an important topic for those interested in criminology and the criminal justice system to consider.
January 13, 2022
In a culture ever more dependent on technology and the internet—for education, work, entertainment, and connection to our communities—it should come as no surprise that people behave online much as we do in person: with a mixture of kindness and cruelty, combining the best and worst of human intentions.
December 29, 2021
There are currently two million individuals incarcerated in American jails and prisons. In the past 40 years, the prison population in this country has grown by 500%. According to The Sentencing Project, this unprecedented increase is due more to the changes in criminal justice policy and sentencing laws than to changes in the nation’s crime rates.
November 29, 2021
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you likely use encryption daily. Sending emails or text messages, using fitness trackers that communicate with apps on your phone, accessing an online banking portal and retrieving photos or files from cloud storage all take advantage of the security features of encryption.
August 27, 2021
Penal labor in the U.S. is explicitly allowed by the 13th Amendment of our Constitution. The amendment outlaws slavery or involuntary servitude in the U.S., except when serving as punishment for a crime where the person has been “duly convicted”.
August 23, 2021
In 1996 Congress passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to decrease the instances of litigation brought to the courts from incarcerated people. For the 25 years since the PLRA was signed into law by President Clinton, prison reform...
June 02, 2021
Initially, the United States aimed to create a justice system that protected the convicted or accused's rights, with four of the initial 10 amendments focused on this cause. However, punitive policies and federal funds fueled mass incarceration disparity affecting poor and minority households while filling pockets of ...
May 28, 2021
The use of telephonic communications to solve criminal cases is not a new development but remains a highly controversial topic. Almost 20 years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on how law enforcement agencies viewed mobile phones as "a powerful resource in investigations and trials.”
March 24, 2021
At some point in your life, you have probably heard the term "halfway house" in relation to rehabilitation of some form. However, there is little publicly available information regarding these institutions, and few people really know how they function. Essentially, halfway houses are less strict 'community prisons' where ...
February 19, 2021
Now, more than ever, the U.S. justice system needs skilled law enforcement officers to assist in protecting the innocent, keeping the peace and achieving the ends of justice. From lawyers and secret agents to forensic analysts and probation officers, there are many high-paying jobs within law enforcement.
October 15, 2020
Today’s criminal justice system faces unique challenges that demand highly trained, dedicated professionals. In the area of criminal justice policy, there are exciting careers in community policing and enforcement, the treatment and rights of victims in the criminal justice process ...
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